A minor Jewish holiday, Tu B’Shvat falls on the 15th day of the Hebrew month Shvat (usually coinciding with the middle of winter) and is sometimes considered in modern times to be Israel’s Arbor Day. Trees are planted throughout the world, climate permitting. The largest tree planting occurs in Israel where forests have been created for this holiday. Tu B’shvat has no connection to a historical or biblical event, though in Ezekiel 36:30-36, God promises to restore Israel’s agricultural fertility. It is believed that the Romans intentionally removed trees during their wars against Israel in 70 and 135 AD.
Outside of Israel, there is a popular tradition to collect money to be passed on to Israel for planting trees. There are now more than 150 million trees in Israel. While the Jewish National Fund is the main organization that plants trees in Israel, there is a forest being built by a combination of Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians. These two groups, both adopted into one family as part of the body of Christ, are building this forest to bring honor and glory to their Messiah. It shows Jews in Israel that believers in Jesus care about the Jews and their land.